i know it's been often discussed, but this article is worth the read. Atheists lose their faith in a variety of ways. 20+ years ago the path to enlightenment was, well, darker. thoughtful and nimble minds were only able to swallow religious mantra for so long before vomiting it back up. but much of that ability depended on just how religious your parents were. should you have found yourself in a fundy household, it's likely that the pressure and indoctrination you experienced were just too much to break away from. resources were limited. like-minded people were too scarce. information was too elusive.
no longer. the internet has aided and abetted countless freethinkers to break free. and it's only going to get better. i'm so very pleased that many more people are able to leave their dusty old religions behind. thank you, internet.
Heretics burned at the stake all for Heresy against the church.
1310 Marguerite Porete, French Christian mystic.
1314 Jacques de Molay, France
1415 Jan Hus, Czech
1431 Joan of Arc, France
1498 Girolamo Savonarola, Italy
1528 Patrick Hamilton, Scotland
1533 John Frith, England
1536 William Tyndale, England
1553 Michael Servetus, Spain
1555 Hugh Latimer, England
1555 John Rogers, England
1555 Nicholas Ridley, England
1556 Thomas Cranmer, England
1600 Biordano Bruno, Italy
1612 Edward Wightman, England
1682 Avvakum Petrovich, Russia
And many, many others. See:
People burned as heretics by church
Well said. I don't know why it has to be about Abrahamic God. I am not only a-theistic...I am a-anything-that's imaginary-being-treated-as-if-it's-real, including Flying Spaghetti Monster.
I am not so inclined to agree.
While the Internet allows those of secular bent to get together and pass ideas, we are the minority. It also allows those of religious bent to do the same.
Moreover, just as in the real world, the secular on the Internet tend to huddle together in their private areas (such as this) and propound their cases, having little effect on the outside.
I would note that Answers in Genesis has far more viewers than either Atheist Nexus or Atheist Forums. Religions do not come here to die (though Thunderf00t's video is cute). They don't come here at all.
Atheist Forums allows apologists to join, with the idea that if they propound a religious case they will be challenged. As long as the propounding of religion remains civil, they may stay. Few do. They are uninterested in dialogue, and they certainly aren't dying.
Aside from the Internet, how many atheist or secular radio and TV stations can you name? If you guessed none, you'd be right. Now consider the Christian ones.
The FCC recently opened up the lower segment of the FM band for community broadcasting. The requirements are a transmitter less than a hundred watts and a broadcast plan. The only licences they have issued are to Christian churches and organisations. No other community broadcaster can get a licence.
The same goes for shortwave broadcasts to the rest of the world. Since WRNO (the only commercial shortwave station in the USA) lost its tower to Hurricane Katrina, the only broadcasters to the world are Voice of America, Armed Forces Radio, and a plethora of religious broadcasters. No commercial licence since WRNO's has been approved, and they cannot get approval from the FCC for a new tower permit.
Religions do not come here to die. There is an explosion of religion on the Internet (such as YouTube) like never in the history of mankind. Atheists are a vanishingly small minority.
James, i think you're missing the point. sure, Christians have more websites, members, tv programs, and radio shows. they have more people, so of course they have advantages in those arenas. however, for those less inclined to believe, they now have options that didn't exist decades ago to help them through their journey to Atheism. and that is the point. information used to be difficult to come by. when i was a teenage Atheist fledgling, if i wanted to learn more my option (yes, singular) was to go to the library and use the dewey decimal system and pour over the card catalog to find books on the subject, and it wasn't exactly as easy as pulling up Google. then you had to read through hundreds of pages of philosophy to extract a small nut of Atheistic verification. times have changed, and for the better.
James Kz, I agree with everything you say ... "except Atheists are a vanishingly small minority."
I noticed several things:
1. My christian family and friends used to come to me with descriptions of how I would burn in hell and now they ask me questions. When they disagree with my answers I give as strong a response as is necessary to get them off that particular question. My impression is they leave my company determined never to ask me a question again, and they can't be with me past "Hello" before some foolish soul asks me a question and I respond as powerfully as necessary. Wash, rinse, repeat.
2. Some family and friends remain with me in spite of or because of my responses. Many Block me on Facebook and for that I am grateful.
3. Some bring me more evidence why faith in an unknowable, unseeable, nonresponding god is a delusion and we have some delightful discussions.
4. I am trying to get my attention away from religion and toward celebration of atheism. Not doing too well.
You can't pick your family, but IMHO, they're not your friends if they badger you about religion and block you on Facebook.
If you want to feel good about atheism, (a) put some space between yourself and religious people; hang wirth atheists, real and virtual (I found a great group via meetup.com); (b) spend a little time on the net watching people wasting their lives in prayer and ritual or interpreting the Bible (you're FREE of that); Google "Jewish dietary laws" to see what crap they have to put up with; re-acquaint yourself with "religious atrocities of the last 1500 years."
Thumbs up! Without the internet, I would have never found out about last year's Reason Rally which I attended (as I see you did, too). It's just nice to discover other secularists (etc.).
I was there too. All day long, wet and cold and there isn't another place on earth I would rather have been at.
you're right, without the internet i never would have heard of the RR. and it was one of the most memorable days of my entire life.
Good point, Randall.
I was also there... here are my pictures and impressions:
This is an important first step. The Internet enables us to spread information and build communities rapidly. But things will not really change in this most religious of countries until we really have separation of church and state, which can be achieved only through political power. That means a sizable number of openly secular politicians who will work, at local, state and national levels, to remove religion's special privileges, including government handouts and immunity from criticism and taxation.
Dalai Lama's wisdom is not original but worth noting.